By Kalungi Kabuye
8.12 PM A little bit of trivia, tonight’s queen will be the 26th girl to be crowned as the national beauty. There is still debate about just how many girls have been crowned Miss Uganda. There are claims that the first real Miss Uganda was Beatrice Epenu, crowned in 1969. The others had titles like Miss Independence, Miss Tourism and the like.
7.42 PM Some people in Kampala are still not sure what to once they come across a red carpet, hilarious to see well clad Kampalans trying to dodge the red carpet, and the photo opportunity that comes with it. But glad to say a few are cool with it, and are readily posing for the photographers. Guests are still trickling in, and the cocktail area is fast filling up. A few of the guests have skipped the cocktail and gone straight into the hall, maybe to get a good seat.
7:00 PM: the gates are open and Kampala’s finest are lining up for this year’s Miss Uganda finals. Kampala’s crazy Friday afternoon traffic jam is not helping things, but some clever ones came early. The pre-event cocktail area is already buzzing, and the mood is clearly upbeat. Inside the Victoria Hall, Steve Jean his Fenton Studios crew are putting last touches to the production. So far it’s all looking good.
After months of regional finals, it all ends tonight as the 26th girl to wear the Miss Uganda crown is unveiled.
The finalists are to be attired in designs from House of Zirian, and the winner gets to take home a car and a plot of land among other prizes.
Below are the contenders:
Agatha Tuhimbise, 22: A student of Organizational Studies, her goal is to bring positive change to Uganda.
Sheila Nuwatwine, 22, Civil Engineer: She says that she deserves to win because she possesses all the qualities required – elegance, intellect and compassion.
Rachael Seera, 21: student at Gulu University and winner of the Northern regional competition.
Stella Namugere, 20: Senior 6 vacation, loves modelling, swimming, networking and dancing.
Moreen Atulinda, 23: IT Student at Mbarara University of Science and Technology, winner Western region, plays basketball in the national league.
Eva Nabawanga, 23:
Graduate of Mass Communication at Makerere University
; looks up to Tyra Banks and all that she stands for in instilling confidence in young women.
Sophie Betty Amayo, 21: Student of journalism, loves travelling, reading and listening to music.
Monica Rukundo, 23: student of International Business at MUBS, loves travelling, swimming and watching movies. Her role model is Maggie Kigozi.
Phiona Bizzu, 19: S6 Vacation, orphaned at a tender age and is passionate about children in similar circumstances and will work hard to improve their plight.
Louise Nankabala, 22: graduate in catering and hotel management, runs a restaurant business. Mariam Ndagire is her role model.
Racheal Kelly Kirabo, 21: dreams of conquering the media world just like her role model Flavia Tumusiime is doing. She is outgoing and confident.
Priscilla Atulinde, 19: S6 vacation, winner Eastern region
Monica Namukaya, 23: procurement and logistics officer at Krypton, 2nd runner up from the Eastern regional contest.
Effe Nalumansi, 21: student of Economics and Management at Uganda Christian University, looks up to her mother.
Susan Namirimu, 21: student of Quantitative Economics at Gulu University, 2nd runner up in the Northern regional contest.
Nancy Abila, 23: graduate of Social Anthropology and Linguistics, loves making friends and travelling.
Sandra Ayaa, 20: Student of Business Administration and Accounting at MUBS, Brenda Nanyonjo is her role model because of her endurance and hard work.
Pauline Peruth Apolot, 24: an established fashion designer and a student at Kyambogo University.
Evelyne Baluka, 23: graduate of Leisure and Hospitality Management, loves travel and adventure.
Josephine Nabakooza, 21: loves basketball.
Tracey Gorettie Tambula: student of Social Work and Administration at Uganda Christian University
Nina Mirembe, 20: S6 Vacation, loves art and design, singing and looks up to the Nabageraka Sylvia Naginda.